WITH a couple of online sales to bring trading for 2022 to an end still in the pipeline, the final public sale of horses this year ended appropriately, with increases in all the fiscal measures, and a record-priced lot for the venue.

The Goffs December National Hunt Sale has been one of the company’s great success stories, built on the back of their hugely influential Land Rover Sale. A decade ago they were able to catalogue enough horses for a one-day sale, and two years ago it had doubled in size. Now it has doubled again, to a four-day auction, and the quality of lots on offer has also improved dramatically.

Two outstanding features of this week’s sale was the continuing strong demand for well-performed fillies and mares, undoubtedly a positive outcome to the enhanced racing programme they enjoy, while an insatiable demand for foals by Walk In The Park, responsible for 14 of the 27 foals to realise €50,000 or more. They also included the best-priced National Hunt foal ever sold at Goffs, the best price for a National Hunt foal in 2022, and the joint second-highest priced National Hunt colt foal of all time sold at public auction.

This was paid for the first produce of Shattered Love, herself a Goffs December Sale topper, and his €155,000 price tag comfortably eclipsed the previous high of €100,000 set last year at the same sale.

Speaking in the aftermath of a buoyant trade, Goffs supremo Henry Beeby said: “Such a record is testament to this sale’s incredible evolution in recent years, as it has grown and developed into a clear market leader for so many major National Hunt entities. There is no doubt that it is now the preferred choice for so many vendors and purchasers, in very much the same way as the Land Rover Sale in June.

Repaying faith

“For that we have our vendors to thank for the trust they place in us with each entry, and we are just delighted to repay their faith with a sale of vibrancy and depth. Buyers have flocked to Kildare Paddocks from far and wide, including some major UK investors, following another coordinated campaign by the Goffs team and ITM, who work in harmony with such success for every category and at each sale.

“Our hope as we look forward is that we welcome back many of the week’s pick of the foals to the Goffs Land Rover or Doncaster Spring Sales in 2025, especially as they will benefit from the unique Goffs customer loyalty scheme when they resell.

“It was very gratifying to round off the sale with the now traditional strong selection of classy broodmares, which was particularly well supported this year following such superb results in recent years. Another lively session saw bids coming thick and fast from all over and we wish their buyers the best of luck with the resulting progeny, many of whom will surely return to future Goffs sales.”

Cheltenham heroine Concertista steals the show

THE Goffs December National Hunt Sale has developed a strong reputation for selling quality racemares at the end of their racing careers, and this was evident again with the sale of the Cheltenham Festival winning mare Concertista.

Consigned by Peter Molony of Rathmore Stud on behalf of Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, the eight-year-old Nathaniel mare is a Grade 2 winner over hurdles and fences, and Grade 1-placed over the smaller obstacles, and she was sold online to Dash Grange Stud for €220,000. Jayne McGivern now owns Golden Horn and stands him at Overbury Stud, and he will be Concertista’s first mate in 2023.

Minutes earlier The Winning Ways Starlet Syndicate enjoyed a memorable day thanks to their Grade 2 John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle winner Royal Kahala, who was knocked down at €180,000. The Clonbonny Stud-consigned seven-year-old Flemensfirth mare, a granddaughter of triple Grade 1 winner Royal Rebecca, is in foal to Crystal Ocean and was purchased by Robert McCarthy of The Beeches Stud. He had bred and sold Royal Kahala as a foal in Goffs.

Another group to reap the rewards of the strong mare trade was Syndicates Racing who offered Grangee for sale through the Cantillon’s Tinnakill House. The Grade 2 winner by Great Pretender tasted success at the Punchestown, Galway and Dublin Racing Festivals, and was bought by Kieran and Cathal Mariga’s Coolmara Stables for €120,000.

Coolmara busy

They also signed for another star of the session in Crackle. Consigned by Stephen Kemble Bloodstock for the Old Rectory Stud, the five-year-old unraced daughter of Sholokhov out of Grade 2 winner Burn And Turn is in foal to Nathaniel and sold for €110,000. Coolmare completed their purchasing spree when giving €70,000 for Ballincurrig House Stud’s winning Kayf Tara mare Mind Your Money, in foal for the first time to Crystal Ocean.

Ballincurrig House Stud also sold Tucanae, a winning Yeats half-sister to the Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Dodging Bullets, for €78,000 to Manverton Equine. She is carrying her first foal by Walk In The Park.

The Motherway family spent €90,000 to acquire the Grade 2 winning Network eight-year-old Rapid Response, from a leading female line, and she was offered by Baroda Stud.

Quill Farm spent €50,000 on the 16-year-old Alexandrina, in foal to Doctor Dino (standing for €20,000 in 2023), from Ballyreddin Stud.

Molony sets tone at opening session

RATHMORE Stud’s Peter Molony set the tone for the rest of the week at Goffs on Monday when he paid €85,000 for a colt foal by Epatante’s sire, No Risk At All.

An agent for Goffs and racing manager for leading owner Kenny Alexander, Molony’s purchase is the first foal out of the Sir Percy mare Mrs Lovett, a consistent blacktype performer over fences for Gordon Elliott. Her colt was consigned by David Futter’s Yorton Stud in Wales on behalf of the former leading amateur rider Richard Burton. The latter purchased Mrs Lovett last summer at Arqana, through JD Moore and Peel Bloodstock, for only €25,000.

Later in the week Rathmore consigned the Grade 1 winner Concertista, and she topped the week’s trade at €220,000.

Half of the top six lots sold on the opening day were by Grange Stud’s Walk In The Park. Aidan ‘Mouse’ O’Ryan paid €60,000 for a half-sister by him to Grand National winner One For Arthur, consigned by John Dwan’s Ballyreddin Stud, and one of the last lots through the ring.

One of the first of the week’s highlights came when Ian Ferguson spent €58,000 on the Walk In The Park colt from Pat Connell’s Peria Stud in Tallow, Co Waterford. The foal is the first out of the winning Shirocco mare Lily Of Leysbourne, herself a full-sister to blacktype hurdler and winning chaser Tedham. This is the family of Dublin Flyer.

Sarah Connell of Peria Stud said: “Ian Ferguson also bought Ballyadam from us, and he won a Grade 1 race, so hopefully he will be lucky again with this one.”

Shattered Love’s foal shatters sale record

THE first foal out of the Grade 1-winning mare Shattered Love sold for a sale record €155,000 on Tuesday.

A colt by Walk In The Park, the foal was consigned by Justin and Jackie Owens of Mount Armstrong Stud in Donadea, who acquired the dam for a sale-topping price of €260,000 at the same venue last year. Coolmore’s Gerry Aherne struck the winning bid, setting a new record for this sale.

Breeder and vendor Justin Owens said: “He’s been a fantastic foal at home. The mare herself is about 16.3hh, a fine model. It’s great to see her throw such a big foal as her first. Over the last couple of months he has grown a couple of inches every month, and I think he is going to be a huge horse in time.”

Jackie Owens added: “He has a great temperament and is quite like his mum. We’re thrilled he is going to a good home. He has all the potential to go on and do great things.” Shattered Love is currently in foal to Crystal Ocean and will visit Walk In The Park in the spring.

Following Monday’s trend, progeny of Walk In The Park were much sought after, and half of the top 10 lots on the day were by the Coolmore National Hunt stallion. Aherne was also the buyer of the next highest-priced lot on the day, another Walk In The Park colt. This one was out of the French Grade 3 winning Martaline mare Royale Joana Has and was sold for €82,000. He was consigned by Kieran and Cathal Mariga’s Coolamara Stud.

Aherne indicated that both his high-price purchases were on behalf of a syndicate who plan to send them point-to-pointing in due course.

Robert and Debbie McCarthy of The Beeches Stud were delighted when Ian Ferguson went to €75,000 for their colt from the second crop of Crystal Ocean. The pair stand the Coolmore sire at their Co Waterford base. Robert McCarthy: “We love Crystal Ocean. Flemensfirth retired the year that he came to stud and we’re lucky to have him; he’s stepping right into Flemensfirth’s shoes.”

The colt, out of a Presenting mare, was described by Debbie McCarthy as a “very correct, well-balanced foal who ticked all the boxes.”

More success came for Crystal Ocean when Brooklodge Farm went to €52,000 for his colt out of Supreme Serata, a Presenting daughter of the Grade 3 hurdle winner Supreme Serenade. The consignor was Peter Molony’s Rathmore Stud, on behalf of breeders Cyril Crowe and Mags Melody from Quin, Co Clare.

The only second-day offering by the new Kilbarry Lodge recruit Harzand was a colt consigned by Dean Sinnott and he sold for €52,000 to Norman Williamson’s Oak Tree Farm. The colt is out of a winning own-sister to Cheltenham winner Tully East.

Cleaboy Stud and Coppice Farm consigned the top-priced filly of the day when selling a daughter of Walk In The Park to Franny Woods’ Abbeylands Farm for €52,000. The filly is out of the winning Slickly mare Tidjy, herself a half-sister to the multiple Grade 1 winning Frodon.

Mountrivers Stables consigned a Walk In The Park colt on behalf of Robert Murphy out of the winning Milan mare Silverpockets. He cost George Frisby €50,000.

Poet’s Word interrupts the

Walk In The Park domination

FOALS by Walk In The Park continued to dominate trade on Wednesday as the December National Hunt Sale entered its third day. Six of the day’s top 10 lots were by the sire of Jonbon, Facile Vega, Douvan and Min.

Heading the day’s business was the last lot of the session, a €100,000 Walk In The Park colt from Pa Doyle’s Galbertstown Stud, sold on behalf of breeder Sean Ronan. He is the second produce of Duhallow Gesture, a daughter of King’s Theatre who won a listed bumper, three hurdle races and a point-to-point. The foal was bought by Richard Rohan and is likely to be offered for resale as a three-year-old.

Former Goffs director Ronan Griffin gave €68,000 for one of the day’s earliest lots, a Walk In The Park colt from breeder Oliver Loughlin. From the family of Albertas Run, the colt is out of an unraced Presenting mare who is an own-sister to listed hurdle winner Presence Of Mind.

Michael Fitzpatrick’s JC Bloodstock bought a Walk In The Park colt foal from Frank Motherway’s Yellowford Farm for €66,000. This colt is out of a placed half-sister to Hurricane Fly. Denise O’Brien’s Clonbonny Stud sold a well-related Walk In The Park colt to Nevin Bloodstock for €60,000, He is out of a winning King’s Theatre full-sister to Captain Chris. Earlier in the day O’Brien traded a Jet Away own-brother to Grade 1 winner Brandy Love for €50,000, selling to Ballymaglassan Farm.

Pinhooker Dick Frisby spent €58,000 on a Walk In The Park filly, the first foal out of five-time winner and Grade 2-placed hurdler and chaser Ask Susan. She was consigned by William and Patricia Doyle’s Ashwood Stud in Arklow on behalf of Ben Kavanagh. For the same price Niall Bleahen secured a Walk In The Park half-brother to Cheltenham winner Labaik. The vendor was John Dwan’s Ballyreddin Stud.

In between all those Walk In The Park foals, a colt by Boardsmill Stud’s Poet’s Word made €75,000. His dam Dinaria Des Obeaux won graded races over hurdles and fences and a full-brother to this colt realised €85,000 last year. The buyer was Kevin Ross on behalf of British trainer Ben Case.

Completing the major sales on the day were colts by Order Of St George and Jukebox Jury who sold for €58,000 and €54,000 respectively. Ballincurrig House Stud acted for Lisnagar House Stud in the sale of the former, a half-brother to Grade 1 World Hurdle winner Lisnagar Oscar, sold to Cottage Bloodstock. Glen Stables sold the Jukebox Jury colt to Kevin Ross, acting for Chris Jones at Killeen Glebe.

Top filly emerges on the last day

WALK In The Park and Poet’s Word were the headline acts among the sires of foals on the final day of action at Goffs on Thursday.

Gerry Aherne continued his spending spree when paying €88,000 for Tom Meagher’s Walk In The Park half-brother to Grade 2-winning chaser The Long Mile, and the colt will join others purchased by the Coolmore man for a syndicate of friends. The colt was the best of the three foals sold during the week from Meagher’s Moanmore Stables.

The best price for a filly foal was paid for a daughter of Boardsmill Stud’s Poet’s Word. The June foal is out of the top-class Glen’s Melody, a dual Grade 1 winning hurdler, including at Cheltenham. She realised €78,000 and was sold through Ballincurrig House Stud by Fiona McStay to Gerry Hogan.

Two colts on the final days sold for €62,000 each. First to the mark was Railstown Stud’s son of a winning half-sister to the popular chaser Vieux Lion Rouge, a great Aintree favourite. Railstown Stud sold him to Brown Island Stables. The Motherway’s Yellowford Farm had another good result when Oaks Farm gave that sum for their Crystal Ocean colt out of a half-sister to Bellshill.

A private transaction resulted in the sale of Baroda Stud’s own-brother to Gaelic Warrior, in the news this week, for €60,000 to Bronson Racing. Jimmy Murphy’s Redpender Stud is the new home for Parkdota Stud’s Crystal Ocean colt out of an own-sister to Grade 1-winning hurdler and chaser First Lieutenant. He cost €52,000, while Brooklodge made another significant purchase when spending €50,000 on one of the last foals in the catalogue.

Elizabeth Hartnett’s Walk In The Park filly, the first foal of the listed-placed chaser Isle Of Destiny. She was sold through Walshtown Stables.